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Protester Carrying LGBTQ+ Flag Interrupts Game at the 2022 World Cup

Protester Carrying LGBTQ+ Flag Interrupts Game at the 2022 World Cup

2022 World Cup Protester
Getty Images

The protester also advocated for women’s rights and to end the war in Ukraine.

A protester interrupted the Portugal-Uruguay game at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to advocate for human rights.

The man, who has since been identified (via ESPN) as Mario Ferri, ran across the soccer field carrying a rainbow-colored LGBTQ+ Pride flag and wearing a t-shirt containing two important messages.

Besides making a clear point for LGBTQ+ rights by holding onto a rainbow flag, Ferri's t-shirt also advocated for very important causes that should be spotlighted at the biggest sports event in the world. The front of his t-shirt read, "Save Ukraine." The back of the shirt read, "Respect for Iranian women."

Check out close-up shots of Ferri's t-shirt below.

2022 World Cup Protester

Photo: Getty Images

2022 World Cup Protester

Photo: Getty Images

The Portugal-Uruguay match had to be stopped by the referee once he spotted the activist running across the field. The interruption didn't take long, however, as security quickly reached Ferri.

You can watch the full video of Ferri interrupting this World Cup game below.

On Tuesday, November 29 - after being released from a "brief detention" in Qatar - Ferri took to Instagram to share the meaning behind his actions. The activist wrote:

"A message for Iran... where women are not respected. The world must change, we can do it together with strong gestures that come from the heart with courage. FIFA banned rainbow captain bands and human rights flags in the stands. They blocked everyone, but not me. Save Ukraine. I spent a month at the war in Kiev as a volunteer and saw how much people are suffering. Thank you for all the messages of love that I receive from the world. Breaking the rules, if done for a good cause, is never a crime."

At the end of the day, Ferri's actions will certainly be remembered as a symbolic gesture during a World Cup that has been so criticized for its placement in such an anti-LGBTQ+ country like Qatar.

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